Title: Journalists Temporarily Detained as Protests Demand Return of Russian Soldiers from Ukraine
Several journalists were briefly detained during a recent protest organized by the campaign group, The Way Home, as wives of Russian soldiers gathered to demand the return of their loved ones from Ukraine. The demonstration, the largest yet among the weekly gatherings, took place near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin walls.
Approximately 200 people turned out to support the protest, with demonstrators calling for their husbands to be discharged and replaced with contract soldiers. The wives argue that their husbands have already fulfilled their duty and should not be sent to fight in a foreign conflict.
The Way Home has been leading this significant movement, persistently drawing attention to their cause. This ninth protest on record has garnered the most substantial turnout to date. However, it is not just the wives of Russian soldiers who are speaking out. Allies of imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexey Navalny, as well as opposition politician Maksim Kats, have voiced their support for the cause.
Despite the growing momentum behind the protest, the state-controlled media has largely ignored the calls for the return of the reservists. This lack of coverage has fueled accusations from some pro-Kremlin politicians who label the protesters as Western stooges. However, the wives and their supporters vehemently reject this allegation, emphasizing their focus on the human aspect of the conflict and the desire for their husbands to return safely.
The timing of the demonstration, just weeks ahead of the Russian presidential election in March, adds further significance to the cause. As the country prepares for this pivotal event, protesters aim to shed light on the plight of their missing loved ones and advocate for their safe return.
During the protest, approximately 20 individuals, including journalists, were detained and subsequently released by the police. However, according to OVD-Info, an independent website monitoring political arrests, a total of 27 individuals were detained during the rally.
As the campaign led by The Way Home continues to gather support, it remains to be seen if their demands will be addressed in the coming weeks. With pressure mounting both domestically and internationally, the Russian government faces a critical decision regarding the future of these soldiers in Ukraine.